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  • Hydroelectric: Water is held behind a dam forming a reservoir, then, the falling water released turns a giant turbine, that moves a generator producing electricity. China, Brazil, and Canada. Three Gorges Dam in Yangtze river, China.
  • Wind: Second most used renewable energy. It has two main drawbacks: The impact of the wind farm on the landscape and the birds killed by the turbines. China, the USA, Germany, and Spain.
  • Solar: We use the sun’s heat and light to produce electricity. Germany, Italy, and Spain. It has two main solar power systems:
    • Solar thermal energy uses energy from the sun to heat water and use it for heating and other domestic purposes. Moreover, it generates steam, which turns turbines and moves generators producing electricity.
    • Photovoltaic solar energy: Uses solar cells to transform sunlight into electricity.
  • Biomass: Produced by transforming organic materials into energy, like forestry or agricultural and urban waste. The energy produced is straight used for heating or to produce electricity. In addition, biomass can be converted into synthetic fuels (ethanol, biodiesel…) used in transport.  France-consumer biomass Brazil-ethanol
  • Geothermal: Uses the heat from the earth. Applications depend on temperatures:
    • <90º heating and hot water in homes
    • 90º-150º industrial uses and electricity production
    • >150º water vapor is transformed into electricity
  • Tidal power: Uses energy resulting from the rise and fall of the tides, which are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon. Needs strong tides and expensive infrastructures. Energy is also obtained from waves, sea currents, or the difference in temperature between deep and surface water. Shiwa Lake, South Korea


    BRICS: Brazil, Russian Federation, India, China, and South Africa:

    • China: World’s leading industrial power.  Its growth is based on:
      • Changes in economic policy: In the past, China followed the Soviet model, then the economy was liberalized, leading to the privatization of the companies and the arrival of foreign companies
      • Abundant resources: China has vast natural resources and an abundant source of cheap labor.
    • China’s main industries are:
      • Electronics: It is a strategic industry, electronic equipment and components are essential in many production processes.
      • Basic industries: Include chemicals, steel, heavy machinery, and cement
      • Consumer goods: China is a major producer of textiles, toys, cars, and food.
      • China’s industry is mainly concentrated in coastal areas as Shanghai or Hong Kong
    • Brazil: Biggest economy in Latin America. The large industrial region from Sao Paulo to Rio and Belo Horizonte. The growth of brazil’s automobile naval, aeronautic, and pharmaceutical industries means Brazil has a promising future.
    • India: Textiles are the first most important industry. It is also one of the world’s main steel producers, and its petrochemical, pharmaceutical, car, and software industries are growing.
    • South Africa: Africa’s main economic power, with a vigorous mining economy. It is also a leader in the manufacture of combustible synthetics and railway rolling stock.


    Mining in Spain contributes little to GDP:

    • It is an important producer of non-ferrous rocks and minerals, and with the largest reserves of sepiolite (an industrial absorbent) in the world, as well as it is Europe’s leading producer of gypsum
    • Spain has different ferrous metals: Copper, tin, zinc, nickel, lead, gold, and silver. Anyhow its production does not cover the country’s needs. Recently, the production of copper, tin, and wolfram has increased.
    • Energy minerals are scarce. Coal mining was important in the past, but today is cheaper to import it.

    We depend on non-renewable energies, although we are trying to reduce the dependence by using solar and wind energy.

    Industrialization in Spain began later than in other European countries. Early industries were textiles in Catalonia and coal and iron mining in Basque country and Asturias.

    In the early 20th century industry grew due to capital brought from Cuba and the Philippines, Spanish WWI neutrality, and the building of new infrastructures, as well as protectionists policies that favored the consumption of national products. Although this growth was interrupted by the civil war. Catalonia, the Basque Country, and Asturias were followed now by Levant, Cantabria, Galicia, and western Andalusia, as well as inland areas like Madrid, Zaragoza, and Valladolid.

    Then, many traditional Spanish industries became uncompetitive, and in the 1980s there was a restructuring when many companies in traditional industries as iron, steel, and shipbuilding were closed. Industrial production reached its peak in the 1990s and the early 21st century.

    The world economic crisis begins in 2007. It had serious effects throughout the world. Nonetheless, in Spain, it coincided with the property bubble when inflated property prices collapsed.

    For years, a large part of the secondary sector production was connected to the boom in building construction. When it slowed, many other activities were affected. Employment fell and salaries and consumer buying went down, causing a fall in production and employment in the industry.

    • Spain’s automobile manufacturing industry is the second largest in Europe, followed by the chemical industry.
    • Most manufacturing takes place in the autonomous communities of Catalonia, Madrid, Basque Country, and Valencian Community.